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More than a third of people save nothing each month

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More than a third of people are saving nothing each month, and that proportion goes up for women and those aged 35 to 64, or the “squeezed middle”.


According to research from Hargreaves Lansdown, around 39 per cent of women are not saving anything in a typical month as they are likely to earn less, so have lower and less secure income.

The research added that people aged 35 to 64 were also likely to save nothing as they had more drains on their income, like children, elderly parents and mortgage payments. This group was also more likely to struggle with debt.

More than a quarter of women said they did not have enough savings to cover a month of essential expenses, along with a third of those aged 35 to 64 and those on incomes of £15,000 to £20,000.

It added around half of people with a savings shortfall put nothing away each month.

High earners also worry about savings, with one in five of those earning £150,000 or more concerned about their future. This proportion is similar to those on lower earnings of £15,000 to £20,000 who also feel insecure about future finances.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “When savings levels soared over the past year and a half, a third of people were completely left behind. In some cases, life is just too difficult to spare a penny for saving, but for others, there are techniques that can help you make a start and build your resilience.”


Five steps to saving

Recommendations that Coles made to improve saving included:

  • Check your bank statements to see where you are spending your money.
  • Put the details of spending or earning into an online budget planner, which will make it easier to plan finances.
  • Identify areas that you can cut back spending and set up a monthly direct debit into a savings account to build up a safety net. Her advice suggested saving three to six months’ of essential expenses.
  • Stick to a budget and keep reminders so you can stay within spending limits.


Help to Save account

Hargreaves Lansdown also recommended the government’s Help to Save account, which can be used if you qualify for working tax credit or universal credit.

With the account you can save £1 to £50 each month and withdrawals are not limited.

After two years you will get a 50 per cent bonus of the highest balance you have saved. In four years, you will get another bonus which is calculated on the highest balance of years one or two or years three and four. If the second is highest that the bonus will be 50 per cent of the difference.

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